41% want lockdown over virus: Poll

41% want lockdown over virus: Poll

Shoppers buy food and other essentials at a supermarket in Iconsiam mall on Saturday after the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration issued an order closing shopping malls to slow the spread of the coronavirus. (Photo by Arnun Chonmahatrakool)
Shoppers buy food and other essentials at a supermarket in Iconsiam mall on Saturday after the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration issued an order closing shopping malls to slow the spread of the coronavirus. (Photo by Arnun Chonmahatrakool)

A significant proportion of the Thai population -- 41.04% -- want the government to lock down cities to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, according to an opinion survey by Suan Dusit Rajabhat University, or Suan Dusit Poll.

The poll was carried out on March 17-21 on 1,457 people across the country.

Asked how they wanted the government to deal with the situation, 41.04% suggested that it lock down the country and cities to prevent people travelling; 38.62% said the government should provide sufficient beds for patients and equipment for doctors and nurses; 16.08% suggested it should impose heavier penalties against those dodging compulsory self-isolation or quarantine; and 14.61% said it should disclose truths regarding the Covid-19 situation.

Regarding its effects, 86.68% of the respondents said the virus had caused a significant impact on their daily life and physical and mental health, as well as the country's economy, tourism, trade and investment; while 13.32% said it had affected them to some degree, as it is highly contagious, but they had regularly followed developments without being too much concerned about it.

Asked how concerned they were about the situation, 48,73% said they were very worried as there is still no medicine to treat the virus and the government looked incapable of keeping the situation under control, causing them to have no confidence in its ability to cope with the rising numbers of people infected by the virus; 45.30% said they were fairly worried as infections had been reported in many provinces where hospitals might have not sufficient medical equipment; 5.08% said they were not particularly worried because they had taken proper protective measures; and 0.89% said they were not worried at all because they did not live in densely populated areas and had taken sufficient protective measures.

Asked what they had done to protect themselves from Covid-19, 62.56% said they frequently washed their hands with soap or alcohol; 54.44% wore a mask whenever they left their homes; 52.62% stopped travelling to at-risk areas or attending social events; 17.35% kept themselves clean and healthy; and 12.81% avoided close contact with sick people or those coughing and sneezing.


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